Skiing and Ice Skating

Snow on the ground? No problem! Many of the trails in the area become great places to cross country ski in the winter. On a Saturday afternoon, you might like to rent some skates and head down to the local ice skating rink. For those into downhill skiing or snowboarding, the closest hill is just over an hour away. When the weather starts to change it doesn’t mean that you outdoor recreation has to end!

Cross Country Skiing


Decorah Bicycles
101 College Drive
(563) 382-8209
M-F 10-6, Th 10-9, Sat 9-5, Sun 12-4
Located near the Whippy Dip

Trail Maps

Cross-Country Ski Trail Map for Decorah, IA (pdf)

Suggested Places

City Prairie
Distance: 2 miles
Level: beginners
Characteristics: flat, groomed trail
Comments: This route is convenient if you are renting from the bike shop
Access: From Ohio Street to near to Aase Haugen Nursing Home.

Luther's Cross Country Course
Distance: 2 miles
Level: beginners
Characteristics: double-track and skating lane, mostly flat
Access: Across from Regents Center

Van Peenan Park
Distance: 4 miles
Level: beginners to intermediate
Characteristics: double-track through both native prairie and pine trees
Access: From Skyline Road

Upper Ice Cave
Distance: 1.25 miles
Level: intermediate to advanced
Characteristics: ungroomed
Comments: Offers a beautiful view of the Upper Iowa River Valley below
Access: from Ice Cave Rd

Lower Ice Cave
Distance: 1 mile
Characteristics: flat trail 3/4 mile ungroomed
Access: from either Ice Cave Road near Dunnings Springs or at the corner of Quarry
Hill road and Ice Cave near Palisades

Distance: 2 miles
Level: intermediate to advanced
Characteristics: double-track and skating trails
Comments: A beautiful park with a nice view of Decorah, but very hilly
Access: available from Park Drive at the end of Ice Cave Road

Dug Road/Lower Phelps/Oneota Drive
Distance: 2.5 miles
Level: Beginners
Characteristics: groomed double track with skating lane. 3/4-mile of this trail is
lighted until 11 p.m. and relatively flat
Comments: Located between a limestone bluff and the Upper Iowa River, this is a
very beautiful trail. If you continue away from campus towards Palisades (instead of
towards the campground) it continues to follow the river, however the trail is much
less sheltered. Access: from the west end off US Hwy 52 on Oneota Drive, or at the
west end of Main St. Very convenient if renting from the bike shop.

Twin Springs Park
Distance: 3/4-mile
Level: Intermediate to advanced
Characteristics: un-groomed
Comments: Overlooks Twin Springs trout stream.
Access: from Twin Springs Park off of US Hwy 52

Ice Skating

Place to Skate

Each winter the basketball courts at Wayside Park on the corner of Fifth Avenue and College Dr. are flooded to make a skate rink. 

Skate Rentals

Decorah Bicycles
101 College Drive
(563) 382-8209
M-F 10-6, Th 10-9, Sat 9-5, Sun 12-4
Located near the Whippy Dip. Skates can be rented at the rink, but they have limited
sizes. The Bike shop has in the past had more sizes. Prices are the same because the
bike shop runs both locations.

Downhill Skiing

Mt. LaCrosse
La Crosse, WI 54602

Sundown Mountain
16991 Asbury Rd
Dubuque, IA 52002